First brush with art.
Aged six, at primary school, a nun in full long black habit and wimple, a painting of a cave, (no memory of why a cave). That’s the point I decided I liked art. The painting was much admired by the Sister and obviously I liked the pat on the back!
I grew up in a pub in Oxford. Growing up in a pub in the centre was a lot of fun, it gave me an early education in American Pool, Space Invaders and darts, along with the best jukebox in Oxford – I still have all the singles.
My art education history travels from a Foundation year in Banbury, Oxfordshire, to the first year of a Textiles degree at West Surrey College of Art and Design in Farnham. I transferred to complete a Ceramics degree at Bristol Polytechnic, now University of West of England .
After my degree I continued to work as a potter, including a few years in Perth, Australia. Perth had a great ceramics culture. I worked in the studio of Perth Potters Club, a converted archetypal Aussie house with gum trees in the garden and the Indian Ocean a few hundred metres away. Idyllic really. But.. I missed my parents, and after my son was born we came back to the UK.
Mixing early motherhood and remaining creative is a challenge for every parent. I started painting evening classes and it’s at this point I started making drawings with fire. It was, needs must, I no longer had any ceramic equipment and just started experimenting with what was available. A gas hob in this case.
This was a transitional moment as I found a freedom in working within art that I hadn’t with ceramics. I think I was a pretty crud potter to be honest!
I started exhibiting and not long after this my representation with Cube Gallery began, I have been with them for nearly two decades. In 2006 I was elected an Academician of the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol and was also a Trustee for three years.
During this period I became very involved in their exhibition and education programme. Teaching workshops with families and children remains an important part of what I do.
Fire continues enthral me as as a drawing tool. It creates an irreversible transformation, there is no going back; images cannot be unburned. Alongside this, an interest in science, and its relationship to art, developed. This has now the focus of my work. It was always there, but just needed nurturing. To do this I studied Fine Art formally in 2015, moving to London to study for an MA at UAL: Chelsea School of Arts.
The majority of my work is now focused on that crossover between art-science and technology. I’ve had such luck to do some amazing projects over the last five years, I hope you may have enjoyed reading some.
A new chapter started in 2020, where, literally two weeks before the first lockdown, I moved back to Bristol, where I now live. I work in a studio in my garden.